When I was a child, I thought of the Reformation as having revolved around Luther unchaining the Bible and giving it to the lay people. I thought Sola Scriptura was the most important part of the reformation.

That was a child’s perspective. Things were obviously much more complicated than that. The idea though is not pure fantasy. The change in the language of the worship service so that the people could understand it, the translation of the Bible into their language, and the addition of sermons that explained the Bible were not simply huge benefits of the Reformation but they were also critical to the entire movement.

A large part of the Reformation was establishing what was authoritative. If it wasn’t tradition or the pope, then what? How could we know what was real and what was false? What could we trust? Luther and others came to believe that the only thing in this world that is fully trustworthy and infallible is the Bible. It is, of course, subject to abuse, misinterpretation, and misapplication by fallen men, but it is clear and simple enough that Christians can understand it. Everyone then should be urged to read it and everyone who does so in faith will be blessed.

We live in an age and country when and where good, trustworthy translations of the Bible are abundant and cheap. It is even possible to get free Bibles on our phones. The blessings of daily Bible reading are difficult to overstate. So why not celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by committing to it? Set yourself a goal of reading the Bible every day for one year starting today.

If you’re looking for a recommended translation, I suggest the English Standard Version (ESV). It is not perfect, but it is trustworthy. It is not the official Bible of the LCMS but it is the preferred translation for our worship resources and publications. If you’d like some help with a reading schedule, check out pages 299-304 in Lutheran Service Book (Daily Lectionary) or Concordia Publishing House has a wonderful free guide that you can download here: https://www.cph.org/p-20523-peak-performance-bible-reading-plan-downloadable.aspx.